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Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Central Film Service Collection consists of more than 100 filmstrips made between 1924 and 1946. Made primarily for business use, the bulk of the collection describes and promotes products, industries, associations, and governmental agencies. Adults were the intended audience. Related scripts and audio recordings do not exist.
The collection is divided into seven series;
Series 1, Associations, 1926-1944
Series 2, Corporate and Products, 1929-1941
Series 3, Government, 1929-1943
Series 4, Health, 1933-1942 Series 5, Religious, 1942
Series 6, Sears, 1937-1941
Series 7, Training, 1924-1946
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Ms. Lois Catts of Puyallup, Washington in October, 2011.
Collection processed by Wendy Shay, audiovisual archivist, 2016.
Filmstrips were an important educational tool from the 1920s through the early 1980s. Relatively short strips of 35mm films – about 10 – 30 frames-- with one image per frame, filmstrips functioned as a combination of motion picture film and slides. They told a story, usually educational, but were projected one frame at a time. Narration was provided by an instructor or speaker, either ad lib or reading from a script. By the 1950s, the narration was often provided by accompanying sound recordings, first on disc and later audio cassette. Each frame was explained or discussed and then the strip was advanced to the next image. A tell tale "beep" on the audio track told the viewer when to advance each frame. In educational settings filmstrips were often accompanied by brochures or served as additional illustrative materials connected with text books.
The Central Film Service Filmstrip Collection is distinctive in that most of the filmstrips were produced for use outside the classroom. The bulk of the collection describes and promotes products, industries, associations, and governmental agencies. Adults were the intended audience. The filmstrips were used as sales tools as well as for training. Commentary would have been provided by a salesman, manager, or a group leader. The collection contains no scripts or related documents so it isn't known how the filmstrips were shown or narrated.
The Central Film Service was located on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Special handling and equipment may be required. Reference archivists will provide assistance.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Central Film Service Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012